DyeStatCal Prep Female Athlete of Week 9/23/02 - 9/27/02 - Ruth Graham (Gunn, Palo Alto) Central Coast Section

DyeStatCal Female Athlete of Week September 9/23-9/27/02
Ruth Graham (Gunn, Palo Alto)

Above pictured during her win in the Iolani Invitational in Hawaii this past weekend, one of the nation's hottest runners, heading into her senior year is Ruth Graham of Gunn HS in Palo Alto. The absolute sweetest person you would ever wish to talk to, she discusses her running and a bit of the future below as our DyeStatCal Athlete of the Week - Best of Luck Ruth

Doug Speck

1) Briefly describe your meets so far this Cross-Country season--
So far I have only had two meets. My first meet was a small dual meet at
my school's home course. It was only 2.1 miles. I won with a time of 12:26.
I did not PR, but I happy with my time.
The next meet was the Iolani meet and it was my first 5k this season. I
was happy with my race. It felt pretty easy the first mile and when I took
the lead I felt smooth and in control. Later in the race it got harder.
There were three big hills and the humidity bothered me. However, when I
finished the race I think I had a good kick and I had won with a solid lead
on the next girl. The only thing I was a little disapointed with was my
time; about 19:45, but everyone at the course was affected by the heat. In
the end, it was worth it. I really liked Hawaii!

2) Briefly describe your successes over the last couple of years in
My successes have been that I have improved every year. My freshman year
I never won a race in cross country, but I was second in ccs (D2) in cross
country and also second in track in the 3200 for ccs. For the state meet in
cross country my frosh year I was 33rd and for the 3200 state race in track
I was 11th.
My sophmore year I won my league competitions and also won both cross
country ccs and the 3200 ccs race in track. I was 13th in my state race(D2)
in cross country and also 17th at the Western Regionals. I was also 6th
place in the 3200 at the track cif state meet.
My junior year in cross country I won ccs again. I also won the state
meet for my division with a time of 18:08. I was 9th in the Western
Regionals. In track that year I won ccs in the 3200 again with a time of
10:32 which was ranked 2nd best time in the state. I also clocked a personal
best in the mile with a time of 4:56.

3) What do you consider the high-light of your high school running career so
far?
My best moment and my biggest success was when I won the state meet in
cross country my junior year. After I won the state meet, at the Western
Regionals I was called "the dark horse" because no one expected me to win.
Earlier in the season at the Stanford Invitational I won and I didn't
realize that I had beaten two of the top favortites in the state for my
divison. Before that I wasn't even at the same level, I just improved so
much! It was the best feeling in the world to come out of the second mile of
the state race and be in the lead with so many cheering people. It opened up
a whole new world for me because before I had never even considered winning
the state meet.

4) What has been the result that was the most disappointing to you so far
during your high school career and why?
I was really upset when I got ninth at the Western Regionals because I
missed going to the nationals by one place. However, I was even more upset
when I had a really bad race at the state meet in track my junior year.
Before the state meet my 3200 time was ranked second in the state but I
placed about 13th at the end of the actual race. Before my race I had a lot
of hope that I could do really well, and during the race it was as if I had
no energy and I couldn't go any faster. I hadn't expected to feel that way
at all.

5) What are some of your goals for this year in running?
I have a few goals this year. In cross country it would be nice to win
ccs again as well as the state meet. I think my biggest goal is to go to the
nationals this year because I missed going last year by only one place! As
for track, I don't want to worry about it yet.

6) What type of preparation did you do this summer for this Fall
Cross-Country season?
For my own point of view I trained really hard. I ran an average of 50
miles a week but sometimes I ran even more. Before my junior year I only got
up to 45 miles per week at maximum. This summer it was really tough because
I felt really tired almost every time I ran.

7) What is your favorite kind of workout to do?
All I have to say is that hill intervals at Rancho San Antonio give me
everything I need to win.

8) Thoughts on college? - Far away from home or close---?
I have no idea. I am still thinking about it.

9) What advice would you give to new runners?
When training, run hard when the coach says hard and run easy when the
coach says easy. Don't race your teamates on easy days.
Always stretch, hydrate and get enough sleep. Its also extreemly
important eat enough and eat healthy!
If your a girl don't be afraid to run with the guys every once and a
while. If your a guy, watch out for that girl behind you!
In the first mile of a race allways stay cool. At the end of a race,
allways give it everything.
Lastly, a team is very important, always cheer for your teamates!

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